Friday January 5, 2007

What's up with the Art Miami ad?

Art Miami ad is a photo of a lifeguard stand.
Click for larger.

How do I dislike the Art Miami ad that’s running everywhere? Let me count the ways:

  1. Not a real Miami lifeguard stand. I have no idea where this is from, but not anywhere in driving distance.
  2. Not the real Miami ocean. Give me a break; we’ve seen the ocean here, and it’s never been this color. Ever. This is probably in the Caribbean, and then color-tweaked with an eye toward absurdity.
  3. Not a real Miami beach. It isn’t this color. It doesn’t look like that.
  4. Even with all that, those three elements are all assembled in photoshop — note the wishy-washy hand-painted shadow. Look where the legs and ladder meet the sand. They didn’t even try. In fact, I’m not even sure the sand and water are from the same photo.
  5. Text not really stenciled. More photoshop, and again not well done.
  6. Absurd cloud-collages are de-rigeur these days (see here), but this one is particularly laughable. I detect pieces from maybe 5 different photos.
  7. Actually, the typography’s not bad. I kind of like this part.

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  1. harumi    Fri Jan 5, 09:56 AM #  

    oh well, they must have not good graphic person.
    This year art miami is so small. I didn’t go last year, but I remember them to be bigger space.
    It must be so hard to compete with basel…
    btw, FIU gradstudent have a booth and it’s pretty good.

  2. Alex    Fri Jan 5, 11:42 AM #  

    Coño Alesh, that bad? Is not as horrible as most posters we are treated to in our fair city. Anyway:

    1. Most likely stock photo. Getty has one similar -they say it’s Sunset Beach, Hawaii.

    2. Ibidem.

    3. Ibidem.

    4. I think the sand and beach are the same photo. There are tons of pictures like this in royalty-free stock, why would they go to the trouble of combining two? Taking yellow out of the picture to make the water more blue is probably what bleached the sand. They went overboard with sinking the ladder in the sand so much, but maybe the angle/perspective of the photos didn’t match.

    5. And to think Photoshop comes with so many degrading filters and layer effects. At least they know how to use Transform/Distort.

    6. If you say so.

    7. Futura. Always a safe choice.

  3. Manola Blablablanik    Fri Jan 5, 01:38 PM #  

    Oh, for a local it’s immediately obvious everything about that ad is fake, but I just assumed they were just trying to convey something “symbolic” of a beach town, almost cartoon-like.

    You forgot to note as well that the surf never really comes up that close to the lifeguard stands.

    I guess they just didn’t want to spend money on sending a photographer to the beach and doing something more local and authentic.

  4. circuitmouse    Fri Jan 5, 04:17 PM #  

    I’d bet no small number of local graphic artists might have done better, and for cheaper, but this is the state where the Speaker of the House has a (former) stripper who can’t type working in his office, remember? Hey, it’s like watching local sites on some show, and noticing the obvious lack of continuity. Even the State of Florida is guilty of doing worse when trying to create an “authentic” Florida look. As far as anyone not from SoFla goes, it says, “Miami” sufficiently. My favorite reason I even watch CSI Miami is to look at the fake names or addresses they give places… It would’ve been nice, though, if they’d let some locals have at the concept, no? Other cities aren’t nearly as well branded or identified as Miami. If it helps a few local artists sell some work in the end run, it’ll be worth it. And what do you wanna bet in a few years’ time the poster might even become a collector’s item worth more than the art at the show?

  5. Gus    Fri Jan 5, 04:32 PM #  

    Well said. And who’s idea was it to put all those goofy numbers on the ad? ;-)

  6. Jonathan    Fri Jan 5, 11:58 PM #  

    Damn straight. This poster should show Alesh at his lifeguard post, sun glinting from his well-oiled physique as he pumps iron while Jessica Alba gazes longingly at him from the background.

  7. alesh    Sat Jan 6, 01:24 AM #  

    Jonathan~ don’t kid yourself. The pic on my about page makes me look like a fat bearded geek. In point of fact, those who’ve met me realize I’m rather a fine speciment. Ladies love cool Alesh.

    Gus~ If I was a little more of that geek, I’d have taken the time to make those numbers pop up on mouseover. But life is short. The bigger, linked version is sans #‘s, which I thought was good enough. Actually, I really wanted the #‘s in circles, but that would have required an extra step into illustrator. I’m lazy, so i settled for photoshop’s big stupid blobby shadows. They’re automatic, and have a simpler workflow.

  8. Alex    Sat Jan 6, 10:21 AM #  

    I was seconds away from getting a couple stock photos and making the poster Jonathan suggested. But alas, I’m too lazy.

  9. I was there    Sun Jan 7, 06:44 PM #  

    The ad sucks…but what is worse is the catalogue! The Letter from the fair’s director and several full page ads mispell the name Purvis Young!

    How dare they spell his name Pervis!!!!

    I was utterly shocked.

  10. alesh    Sun Jan 7, 07:35 PM #  

    You might be less shocked if you heard that art-miami is run by a conglomerate out of Ohio. I’ve never bothered with AM.